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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Use of force in arresting man was excessive

3 November 2021

The Authority oversaw a Police investigation into a complaint alleging a Police Officer used excessive force to arrest a man following a pursuit in Christchurch.

Having extracted the driver from his car, and while he was being restrained face-down on the road surface by three Police officers, one of the officers punched the man twice in the head to gain his compliance. The officer says he punched the man in order to have him release his arms from underneath his body, so that he could be handcuffed.

The Police investigation found the use of force was appropriate in the circumstances, as the man was resisting arrest.

The Authority disagrees with the Police findings. The officer's actions by punching the man twice in the head was excessive and unnecessary in the circumstances. In addition, the Police investigation of the complaint was not of the standard expected. Key parties were not interviewed and, when the interviews eventually took place, were poorly conducted.

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